Nebraska 3 vs Illinois 0- 25-14, 25-16, 25-22
Nebraska won and won big. Nebraska was better in every statistical category over Illinois tonight in front of a sell out crowd in Huff Hall in Champaign, IL. Nebraska hit .320 as a team, was able to side out at 76% rate and had 44 digs compared to 29 for Illinois. Those numbers are the quantifiable parts of the game. Qualitatively, Nebraska was faster, jumped higher and out hustled their opponent.
The most impressive part of Nebraska tonight was their ability to take a play where things were not going according to plan and turn it to an advantageous situation. The final play to end set two started with a quick pass heading straight to the net. Nicklin Hames used soft and quick hands to lay the ball up for Whitney Lauenstein to kill the ball.
The pass wasn’t ideal but the Huskers played it through with confidence and turned it into a point. It was a form of improv on the volleyball court. This ad lib volleyball emanates from confidence in the player next to you and her ability to earn the point. The points often ended with a block.
Just keep the rally alive long enough for the Nebraska block to take effect. Multiple times tonight Illinois had control of the rally. Nebraska sent one or two free (easy) balls over the net but when the Illini player went terminate the ball, Nebraska stuffed, blocked, sent the ball to the floor.
What an asset. The ability to make an error and know that the block can erase that error. Just like the ball is on the floor because a team can’t get through your block. Of course the goal is to not let that first error happen but if it does, use the big, well trained block to your advantage.
Nebraska faces #5 Wisconsin next. The Huskers travel to Madison on Wednesday October 26. They play at 8 pm CST on BTN. Clear your calendar. This one will be good. GBR!!